November 1, 2008
From IMDB (and yours truly)
The story sets in the England ruled by Queen Victoria. Sara (Shirley Temple) is a little girl who doesn't have anything in the world but her father, Captain Reginald Crew (Ian Hunter). War times run, and Captain Crew's sent to fight with the British army to Africa, to fight against the boers. Sara's worried about her father and she's afraid of his security. The girl is registered in an exclusive seminary for girls, only for a period of time, until Captain Crew returns from Africa. Amanda Minchin (Mary Nash) is the strict woman that runs the seminary, but Sara makes friendship with a kind young teacher, Rose (Anita Louise) and with a horse instructor, Geoffrey (Richard Greene). So, Sara's life at Minchin Seminary is very happy, but everything there has a monetary cost, even the birthday party and the presents that Miss Minchin sets up for the girl. When Sara knows the terrible notice about Captain Crew's death, the girl feels devastated and all the privileges will end up, because there's no money to pay for that. Miss Minchin tells to Sara that she can stay, but in a dark and creepy attic and she'll have to work as a servant of all her friends. But the friendship with a nice Indian servant from the next house (César Romero) and with the other servant girl, Becky at the seminary, will make much pleasant the things for Sara, who keeps the hope that her father is still alive. Written by Alejandro Frias
My own notes: When notice about the Captain's death reaches the school, Sara is not upset because she knows she will lose her position of privilege. She is devastated because she adored her father.
This movie does not feature a singing and dancing Shirley Temple, but rather a child actor. I loved this movie as a child and find it to still be a very enjoyable and satisfying watch. Yes, there's sentimentality and cuteness but one really has to expect that of any Shirley Temple movie.